Sit up straight
Over the next few blogs I want to spend a little time looking at posture. Weather it’s the way we carry our bodies, to our desk set up in the office, our posture has the ability to cause us ongoing grief in the muscular skeletal department.
When I’m working with any muscular skeletal strains, I feel it’s really important to look at the underlying cause, and my attitude is: ‘prevention is better than cure’. With so many of us working behind a desk for more than half of our lives, its seems a great place to start, by addressing lifestyle factors in our day to day activities that might actually be causing us a pain in the neck.
If someone was experiencing regular headaches, and the treatment they received was the best they could get, but they went home each night and hit their heads against the wall all night, their headaches were bound to return, regardless of how good the treatment they were receiving was.
So… If our posture in our daily lives is causing us muscular skeletal strains and pains, it’s worth taking the time to addresses your posture and helps improve and prevent any issues.
Here are my top tips when thinking about your posture and desk set up:
- Always take the time to adjust your chair when you start working at a new location. Hot desking is becoming more and more popular and with this new crazy, I’m seeing more and more people suffering from back and neck strains
- Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground or on a foot rest, ensuring there is a slope from your hips to your knees.
- Your hips must be higher than your knees and your eyes level with the centre of the computer screen.
- Stretching your legs out under the desk is also fine if you feel more comfortable this way but if you tend to tuck your feet under the chair, make sure you don’t stay in this position for long as this position reduces blood flow to your legs.
- Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair.
- The front of the seat should not be compressing against/touching the backs of your calves.
- Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using.
- Use a seat with arm rests.
- Take regular breaks. Never sit at the computer for more than 40 minutes; less if possible. When you take a break, walk around and stretch a little; do something completely different.
- Remove any obstacles from under your desk to ensure you have enough leg room.
- Never sit and twist your back to use a laptop.